Georgia to Regulate Condoms?
A draft bill from Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition that would limit minors’ access and exposure to sex paraphernalia has brought some adult-themed debates recently to Georgia’s parliamentary floor. The bill proposes to ban the sale and advertising of items of a sexual nature in stores that sell children’s apparel and toys. It would also prohibit the sale of such goods in schools and other institutions that serve youth under 18 and in stores located near such facilities.
But, divided on just about anything -- from foreign policy to law-and-order matters -- parliament has not yet reached a cross-party consensus on what kinds of goods actually can be considered sexual.
“People get aroused by very different things,” knowingly remarked parliamentarian Zurab Japaridze at a recent committee hearing, Liberali.ge reported. “What kind of props people use during sex games is a very personal thing… and the state should not be regulating this.”
Japaridze and fellow members of President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement have requested the Georgian Dream coalition, which initiated the bill, to provide a hit list of items that would be restricted under the amendment.
And so the work began: sex toys – yes; porn – yes; condoms -- here things get a little tricky. Some parliamentarians proposed to make a distinction between condoms that serve the sole function of preventing sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancy, and those that also enhance sexual experience.
“A condom can have not only a protective function, but also be meant to receive pleasure if is enhanced by certain technical means,” senior Georgian-Dream lawmaker Levan Berdzenishvili explained to parliament’s legal committee.
Fellow Georgian Dream member Koba Davitashvili backed the point, saying that law enforcement officials will know the “wrong” kind of condom when they see it.
“There are two kinds of condoms; one is meant for protection, another for satisfying sexual urges,” Davitashvili said. “One will be sold and another will not be sold. It is very easy.”
He argued that there is no need to compile a list of “sexual items” to include in the law, and that a general definition would do.
Minority member Pavle Kublashvili disagreed. Law enforcement agencies and courts need to have a reference list to be able to make decisions on this matter, he asserted.
Some others believe that the amendments contradict Georgian law. One lawyer asserted in a Q&A with Netgazeti.ge that since 16-year-olds are allowed to have sex, they should also have free access to sex toys.
Saakashvili and Ivanishvili have not weighed in on the issue yet, but chances are the two rival leaders, different in so much, will be no less divided on a topic such as this.